Times Square driver wanted to 'kill them all,' prosecutors say

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 20, 2017

A wrecked auto sits in the intersection of 45th and Broadway in Times Square, May 18, 2017 in New York City.

A man has been charged after a woman was killed by a auto that plowed through at least 22 people Thursday in Times Square.

In this image made from video provided by Oscar Navarro Reyes, Richard Rojas is arrested after a fatal automobile accident on New York City's Times Square, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism, but the bomb squad has responded as a precaution to check the vehicle.

Friends of a man suspected of plowing his vehicle into pedestrians in Times Square say he'd been going through a rough time. Police do not suspect a.

New York City police say a Canadian woman remains in very critical condition a day after a speeding auto slammed into pedestrians in Times Square in what authorities said was a deliberate attack.

Elsman was killed when Richard Rojas, 26, allegedly drove through dozens of pedestrians on the sidewalk in Times Square.

Alyssa Elsman, from Portage, Michigan, died and 23 people were struck by the vehicle before it was stopped by a security barrier.

Miss Elsman's boyfriend Trevor West paid tribute to the teenager from MI, whose 13-year-old sister was also among the injured.

He has previously been discharged from the U.S. Navy following disciplinary problems.

The officials said Rojas told officers he had been hearing voices.

Photographers snapped pictures of a wild-eyed Rojas on Thursday after he climbed from the wrecked vehicle and ran through the streets. "The screaming saved my life", Andrew, who is from Long Island, said.

"He just started running until people tackled him down", Lowe said.

Rojas initially tested negative for alcohol, but more detailed drug tests were pending, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Witnesses have described Rojas as "driving like a madman" and was heard screaming before making mounting the footpath.

Before police ruled out terror as a motive, many on the scene assumed the incident was similar to in nature to recent jihadist attacks involving vehicles in France, Germany, Israel and elsewhere.

"There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism", Mayor Bill de Blasio said. He pleaded guilty last week to harassment in the Bronx after he was accused of pulling a knife on a notary in his home.

A neighborhood friend in the Bronx, Harrison Ramos, said Rojas wasn't the same when he came back from the Navy in 2014.

The White House said President Donald Trump has been "made aware" of the situation in Times Square and will continue to receive updates as the situation unfolds.

He had enlisted in the Navy in 2011, serving overseas the USS Carney in 2012, before reportedly being dishonorably discharged in 2014. In 2012 he served aboard the U.S.S.

Navy records show he spent two months in a military prison in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 2013 but do not specify why. They do not indicate why. Details were not immediately available.

"People just got stunned", said Bruno Carvalho, a student at SUNY Albany. "I don't think there was actually time for screaming". Her name was Alyssa Elsman and she had been visiting from MI with her family.

Ms Elsman graduated previous year from Portage Central High School. "But if you could talk to her for a minute, you'd realize she was engaging. She was bright. She was amusing".

The woman who died was 18 years old.

Authorities say Richard Rojas was taken into custody Thursday after mowing down 23 people, including a teenager who died.

It isn't clear when Rojas might get a lawyer.

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